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Former Fla. gov. Crist on reopening Cuba ties

Florida has long been the home of a large Cuban-American community. The issue of American-Cuban relations is a major issue in the state.

Charlie Crist, Florida's former governor, joined CBSN on Wednesday to discuss how President Obama's move to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba will impact the state. According to Crist, the economic impact will be significant because the easing of restrictions on the island will spur redevelopment.

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Former Florida gov. Charlie Crist Getty Images

"You talk about housing changes, schooling, infrastructure, the natural launching pad for much of that redevelopment is the state of Florida," Crist said. Cuba is only 90 miles south of Key West.

This rebuilding and modernizing of the country will have a great impact on the Cuban people, Crist said, and that is a main reason why he is fully supportive of Obama's action. "The changes that can take place, that can improve the quality of life of everyday Cubans can be extraordinary and exceptional, and I hope that it is," he said.

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